Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies
This is a recipe I posted several years ago, but I pulled it out last week and made a batch. I find the process of making chocolate chip cookies comforting, maybe because it was one of the first baked goods I made on my own at a kid. I figured I’d re-share the recipe again, since maybe you could use that kind of comfort, too.
There are weeks when my kids do so much baking, I wonder if I’m not living in a tiny cookie factory with amateur bakers at the helm. It makes me happy that they want to experiment in the kitchen, but too many sugary treats isn’t good for anyone. This is why I’m forever tinkering with traditional recipes to make them just a bit more nutritious, such as these healthier chocolate chip cookies.
I’m guessing cookies might be popular around your house too, so I thought I’d share my tips on tailoring baked goods for the better. With just a handful of swaps and substitutions in these chocolate chip cookies, for example, you’ve got a sweet treat that’s lower in sugar and saturated fat and higher in fiber and nutrients. It’s not health food, that’s not what cookies are for. It’s a treat, but one that’s less likely to give you a sugar high followed by an energy slump. With that in mind, here are some of my standard baking makeovers:
How to Make Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies
1. Use whole-grain flour
Instead of relying on white flour, which loses fiber and nutrients in the processing, experiment with whole-wheat flour. You can pretty seamlessly swap out at least half the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour in most cookies. If you have whole-wheat pastry flour, that makes an even more seamless swap, since the flour is lighter in texture and flavor.
2. Add oats
Adding rolled oats can enhance a cookie both nutritionally and in terms of flavor and texture. You can add them whole, grind them in a blender or food processor, or buy oat flour to use in place of some of the white flour.
3. Use dark chocolate
The darker the chocolate, the higher the antioxidants and the lower the sugar. Some brands now make chips with upwards of 60 percent cacao. Alternatively, chop up a block of good quality dark chocolate to use in place of the chips.
4. Make butter better
Butter is part of what makes cookies so rich and satisfying, which is why you can likely get away with using a bit less than you might expect. You can also substitute some of the butter with a neutral oil such as organic canola to minimize saturated fat. Alternatively, try try browning butter before adding it to the batter, which lends a pleasing, nutty flavor to the mix.
5. Work in nuts
Adding walnuts, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and so forth brings crunch and texture to cookies, but also adds nourishment and healthy fats that can give cookies a little staying power. You can stir chopped nuts into your batter or nut flour to replace some of the all-purpose flour. Alternatively, make it yourself by pulverizing nuts in a blender or food processor.
6. Scale down the Sugar
Some form of sweetener, whether it’s white sugar, coconut, honey, or maple syrup is key for cookies. But you might be surprised that you can trim the amount without much of an impact on flavor or texture. This recipe, for instance, calls for 1/3 less sugar than standard cookies.
Super sized cookies are a real show-stopper, but it’s wise to scale your cookies down. It’s tough to stop at just one, so smaller is often better.
If you’ve go kids who like to eat the dough, consider using pasteurized eggs, such as Safest Choice.
Looking for more healthy cookie inspiration? Check out these recipes.
Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies by Pamela Salzman
Red Lentil Snack Cookies by Liz’s Healthy Table
Healthier Whole-Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2/3 cup almond flour, spooned an leveled in the measuring cup
- 2/3 cup oat flour, spooned and leveled in the measuring cup
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour, spooned and leveled in the measuring cup (alternatively use whole-wheat or white whole-wheat
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick butter (4 ounces), softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs (use pasteurized eggs such as Safest Choice if you want to eat the dough)
- 1 1/3 cups dark chocolate chips or about 8 ounces chopped dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar with an electric mixture until light and creamy. about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue to beat until light and smooth, another minute.
Add the almond flour, oat flour, whole-wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the bowl with the butter. Use a fork to lightly mix the dry ingredients together.
Beat the ingredients together until creamy, 1 minute. Add the chocolate chps and beat to combine.
Arrange tablespoon-size balls of dough on baking sheets. Bake until the bottoms are lightly brown and you just start to see a hint of pale brown around the edges, about 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Cool and store in an air-tight container.
Thank you to Safest Choice Eggs for sponsoring this post